RIP Shulamith Firestone

Shulamith Firestone, groundbreaking radical feminist writer, died at 67.

The Dialectic of Sex is wonderful, if by “wonderful” you mean “batshit science fiction feminist theory,” and I’m pretty sure you do. She theorized that pregnancy was one of the major forces leading to the perpetuation of patriarchy, and therefore the invention of artificial wombs would free women from childbearing and therefore from sexism. Yes, really. She missed her calling as a trippy science fiction author, clearly.

I thought she’d been dead for years, to be honest. It turns out, however, that she’d had severe schizophrenia which, combined with the pressures of fame, led her to withdraw from the world for a solitary life of painting and writing. A tragic ending to a brilliant woman’s life.

(Note: if there are less savory aspects of her life, I’m leaving them out because I don’t know about them, not as an attempt to whitewash or minimize them. Commenters are encouraged to discuss both positive and negative aspects of her life.)

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Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. Uh, Ozy? As much as I like to keep up on the news of who’s kicked the bucket in my areas of interest, I have to say this post strikes me as unnecessary, even abrasive.

    And while I’m not familiar with Firestone herself and the details of her musings, I think not having pregnancies would go quite a ways to equality, namely in the workforce, and it seems like you had just enough time to take a shot at that idea.

    I get saying “I didn’t stand with this person, but let’s acknowledge history” but this post really, really rubs me the wrong way.

    • Oh, I’m sorry if it left that impression. I *adore* Ms. Firestone’s writing and am deeply saddened at her death. (I tend to express fondness through inappropriate mockery. Possibly inappropriate for an obit. :P)

  2. May she rest in peace.

    Ms. Firestone was a founding member of the Redstockings, and that group came out with some very problematic – no bigoted gay-bashing and man-hating shit. http://www.genderratic.com/p/912/misandry-feminist-gay-bashing-edited/
    That does not mean she personally was responsible for any of that, not at all. It just means that she had some very unsavory associations. Well, maybe you have to take your allies where you find them.

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